How to eat food 101

This sink is cleaner than mine, but equally full of kale.

This sink is cleaner than mine, but equally full of kale.

Today I came across this piece in Slate by a woman who doesn’t know how to eat vegetables.  She worries:

Ordinarily, I would never eat turnips. I managed to go 30 years without buying one. But now every winter I’m faced with a two-month supply, not to mention the kale, collards, and flat-leaf Italian parsley that sit in my refrigerator, slowly wilting, filling me with guilt every time I reach past them for the milk. After three years of practice, I’ve figured out simple ways to deal with most of these problem vegetables: I braise the turnips in butter and white wine; I sauté the kale and collards with olive oil and sea salt; I wait until the parsley shrivels and then throw it out. The abundance of roughage is overwhelming.

WTF?  How do you get to be a grown up, much less a food writer, and continue to be confused by kale or–seriously, what the fuck?–parsley?  Luckily, this lady is able to call Mark Bittman and ask him about “problematic vegetables” like butternut squash and cabbage.  Naturally, Bittman points out that everything is edible if you’re not a total moron:

“Daikon radish,” I began, skipping any pretense at a warm-up.

He didn’t miss a beat. “Raw, grated, with soy sauce and sesame oil.”


“Sauté it with garlic, brown it, shrivel it, maybe turn it into fried rice.”


“Parsley is a staple. You should be using it by the handful daily anyway. It can go on top of anything. Just use it.”

A bag full of parsley was currently rotting in my green bin, but I refused to be chastened. “Butternut squash.”

“I like to grate butternut squash, cook it with olive oil and garlic, and toss it with pasta.”

Photo by Flickr user Tiexano used under Creative Commons license.


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